Postoperative Bilateral Palsy of Terminal Laryngeal and Pharyngeal Branches of the Vagal Nerve

Dirk Nauheimer*, 1, Stephan Doering1, Thomas Breinlich2, Goetz Geldner1
1 Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care, Germany
2 Consultant Specialist in Otorhinolarngology, Germany

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Nauheimer et al.; Licensee Bentham Open

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care, Hospital of Ludwigsburg, Posilipostr. 4, D-71640 Ludwigsburg, Germany; E-mail:


We report a rare case of a postoperative bilateral laryngeal and pharyngeal lesion of the extracranial vagal nerve following a routine general anaesthesia in prone position. It documents a possible way of a serious complication depending to the positioning of the patient in prone position. Etiological factors and measures to avoid this rare but critical complication are discussed.

For the clinical practise it should give an advice to minimize the risk of injuries by malpositioning.

Keywords: Prone position, malpositioning, complications, vagal nerve lesion, general anaesthesia.